Best Baby & Toddler Books About Love

Our Favorite 47 Books to Read With Your Kids About Love

Updated Apr. 8, 2019

Love. We're not sure if there's been any subject about which more has been written (based purely on observation—no statistics here) and we think that's pretty awesome. The world could use a little more love. If you're looking for some truly fantastic books about all kinds of love to read with your munchkins, here are some truly great ones for you. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

More Than Balloons book
#1
More Than Balloons
Written by Lorna Crozier and illustrated by Rachelle Anne Miller
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from Grammy

This charming story of the boundless love of a parent for a child makes for ideal bedtime reading. The creative rhymes and consistent meter are remarkable, as are the many details for spying and identifying on each page. There is a great variety of animals rendered in a warm palette of colors participating in a wide range of experiences throughout the seasons of the year. Plenty to discuss, and even use as a springboard for your own adventures.

Balloons love the moon, and a tuba loves a tune, but these don't compare to the love we have for you. Award-winning poet Lorna Crozier uses evocative rhyme, complemented by Rachelle Anne Miller's whimsical imagery, to provide babies and toddlers with common concepts that explain just how great love is.

My Love is For You book
#2
My Love is For You
Written by Susan Musgrave and illustrated by Marilyn Faucher
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This book is breathtaking! I love the creative vocabulary and word choice to describe a parent's love. To top it all off, the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous!

A beautiful board book that weaves the purity, strength and endlessness of love with simple joys of nature.

Bear of My Heart book
#3
Bear of My Heart
Written by Joanne Ryder and illustrated by Margie Moore
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

There are so many bears in the world dear, but there's no other one that will do. You are the bear of my heart, dear, and I am the one who lives you. Every mother makes promises to share the joys and wonders of the world with her children and Mother Bear is no exception. As Mother Bear introduces her child to the hills, lakes, caves and starry nights, she reminds Baby that no matter what, he will always remain the bear of her heart and she will always be there for him. With Joanne Ryder's heartfelt lyrical text and adorable illustrations by Margie Moore, this beautiful hardcover is now available in board book and is perfect book for sharing on Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, or any day of the year!

How Do You Say I Love You? book
#4
How Do You Say I Love You?
Written by Hannah Eliot and illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Awesome concept! The rhymes help with guiding you how to pronounce "I love you" in all the different languages, and the illustrations subtly show elements of each different culture that you can talk about your little one as you read through the book.

Learn how to say “I love you” in ten different languages with this heartwarming board book. “I love you” may sound different around the world, but the meaning is the same. From China, to France, to Russia, to Brazil, and beyond, this charming board book features “I love you” in ten different languages. Tapping into the emotions that parents feel for their children, the rhyming text is accompanied by sweet artwork that depicts different cultures around the world.

Bunny Roo, I Love You book
#5
Bunny Roo, I Love You
Written by Melissa Marr and illustrated by Teagan White
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love this beautiful book! The illustrations are fantastic, and I love the concept. The loving mom talks about all the baby's traits and likens them to animals and shares how she cares for and loves her baby. Such a sweet read!

A warm and tender welcome to the world! In a gorgeous picture book that’s playfully sweet and visually captivating, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr and talented new illustrator Teagan White celebrate the many ways parents make their new babies feel at home. The world can seem like a big, bewildering place for new babies—fortunately, their mamas know just how to soothe and comfort them. Through enchanting scenes portraying all kinds of mama animals looking out for their little ones, the mother in this story reassures her baby, and young children everywhere, that their caretakers will always love them and keep them safe. This beautiful picture book has the feel of a classic and its heartwarming premise should make it a family favorite.

1-2-3, You Love Me book
#6
1-2-3, You Love Me
Written and illustrated by Jill Howarth
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is anything but your average counting primer and is filled with charming illustrations, great rhymes and twelve ways to show love to friends and family, be it hugs, treats, or quality time.

From one bear hug to twelve pretty red roses, 1-2-3, You Love Me will foster lots of hugs, kisses, and affection between parent and child while teaching young ones to count from one to twelve. With charming love-filled illustrations, sturdy pages, and clever rhyming text, this is the perfect gift for baby for Valentine's Day or any time of year. Sipping on yummy shakes, cuddling puppies, counting the colors in a rainbow, and making music with friends are all ways that children can express their love for their friends and family with Jill Howarth's delightful board book.

If Kisses Were Colors book
#7
If Kisses Were Colors
Written by Janet Lawler and illustrated by Alison Jay
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I love Alison Jay's signature illustration style, with all of it's whimsy, character and fun colors—it absolutely makes this delightfully sweet book about kisses. The representations of kisses are varied and creative, and while perhaps a little esoteric for the youngest readers, the cadence of the text is soothing and the sweetness and love conveyed are absolutely evident.

A parent describes kisses in many different ways, all of which express love for baby.

A Book of Kisses book
#8
A Book of Kisses
Written by Dave Ross and illustrated by Laura Rader
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This is a fun book about kisses. There are a lot of I love you books for children or babies coming from their parents. This book is a fun twist on how kisses say I love you, but also so much more from lots of different people. It will make you laugh and cheer you up and ends with a sweet feeling of wanting to share a little kindness.

There are all kinds of kisses in the world, for all different occasions: congratulations kisses I'm sorry kisses butterfly kisses good night kisses A kiss is a wonderful way to show someone you care. Show someone you care--share this book and a kiss!

Mommy's Best Kisses book
#9
Mommy's Best Kisses
Written by Margaret Anastas and illustrated by Susan Winter
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I absolutely love this sweet book! The illustration style reminds me more of books I read when I was little--sweet, soft, and warm. It's fun that each page is a different animal child and mom. But mostly, I just don't know how anyone can resist a book about all the kisses from mommy!

Every mother knows that the sweetest way to say "I love you" is with a kiss. This loving book shows that animals know all about a mother's love, too.

Plant a Kiss book
#10
Plant a Kiss
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from Grammy

This is an adorable little gem of a board book. It is a simple story told with minimal text and adorable illustrations about the power of sharing and nurturing love. There are plenty of things to point out and look for on each page. The unlikely seed of a kiss follows the growth pattern of traditional seeds, with cause for a community celebration at the harvest.

Little Miss planted a kiss. . . . One small act of love blooms into something bigger and more dazzling than Little Miss could have ever imagined in this epic journey about life, kindness, and giving from New York Times bestselling team Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Peter H. Reynolds. Now a board book!

Mama, Do You Love Me? book
#11
Mama, Do You Love Me?
Written by Barbara M. Joosse and illustrated by Barbara Lavallee
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

This beloved story of a child testing the limits of her independence, and a mother who reassuringly proves that a parents love is unconditional and everlasting is a perfect first book for toddlers.

I Love You Night and Day book
#12
I Love You Night and Day
Written by Smriti Prasadam-Halls and illustrated by Alison Brown
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

A message of unconditional love through the seasons is wrapped in a warm and exuberant board book--perfect for baby showers, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, and love all year round! I love you strong, I love you small, Together, we have it all. I love you wild, I love you loud, I shout it out and I feel proud. When you love someone, you want the whole world to know. Through good times and bad, rain or shine, love is unconditional. Share this beautiful board book for story time, bedtime, or anytime--with someone you love!

Kisses and Cuddles book
#13
Kisses and Cuddles
Written and illustrated by Little Bee Books
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

A little penguin loves to do many things during his fun day, but nothing beats getting kisses and cuddles from his mama! Follow a little penguin as he spends his day doing everything he loves--such as eating pancakes, playing with his toys, drinking hot chocolate, spotting rainbows, and more. But what does he love the most? Kisses and cuddles from his mama!

Penguin and Pinecone book
#14
Penguin and Pinecone
Written and illustrated by Salina Yoon
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
Thoughts from Mr. Stacatto

"When you give love, it grows." Such a cute board book with a fun story and illustrations that fully add to it. When penguin discovers a pinecone he's not exactly sure what it is. His grandpa tells him that pinecones belong in the forest and so after making a scarf for his new friend, penguin makes the long journey to take his pinecone somewhere warmer.

Geisel Honor-winning author/illustrator Salina Yoon introduces readers to a beloved character in Penguin and Pinecone--a picture book about friendship that will warm your heart! When curious little Penguin finds a lost pinecone in the snow, their friendship grows into something extraordinary! But Grandpa reminds Penguin that pinecones can't live in the snow--they belong in the warm forest far away. Can Penguin help Pinecone get home? And can they stay friends, even if they're miles apart? Prolific author/illustrator Salina Yoon's spare text and bright, energetic illustrations bring to life this endearing story celebrating friendships lost and found, and overcoming the odds to be with the one you love.

We are Better Together book
#15
We are Better Together
Written by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-3
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I was a little lukewarm on this book until I read it 100 times to my toddler (who loves it!) and realized that a) I wasn't getting particularly tired of it and b) it was great for playing "I spy" and he was getting name actual pictures of things he sees in everyday life. The illustration style of drawings over photographs is original and fun and it's now a favorite at our house—plus the message is fabulous!

You can't paint a picture without paint, or make a milkshake without milk. This charming book of teamwork and friendship shows how individual things are so much better, when they all work together! Flour, eggs, butter, and sugar all join together to make a cake; paper, scissors, and tape wrap a beautiful present. Designed with a mixture of photographs and fun illustrations to engage little ones and make them smile, there are cute rhymes to read and share in this celebration of teamwork in its many forms.

Best Friends: We Are A Family book
#16
Best Friends: We Are A Family
Written by Roger Priddy
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Like peas in a pod, and leaves in a tree, we all belong to a family! Whether they are big, or whether they are small, this charming book shows young readers that there are all kinds of different families to be found in the world around us, from a bunch of balloons, to eggs in a box, and fingers on a hand. Designed with a mixture of photographs and fun illustrations to engage little ones and make them smile, there are cute rhymes to read and share in this celebration of family in its many forms.

Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes book
#17
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
Written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A global celebration of adorable baby fingers and baby toes, as well as the babies they belong to, is now available in a lap board book edition.

When the World Was Waiting for You book
#18
When the World Was Waiting for You
Written by Gillian Shields and illustrated by Anna Currey
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

What could be more heartwarming than the arrival of a new little one? The bunny family in this charming picture book celebrates all the events surrounding a birth, from readying the baby's crib to the very first visit from friends and family This padded board book edition is a perfect baby shower gift, and the round edges and sturdy pages make it just right for big siblings with little hands.

The Runaway Bunny Board Book book
#19
The Runaway Bunny Board Book
Written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Clement Hurd redrew some of his pictures for this new edition of the profoundly comforting story of a bunny’s imaginary game of hide-and-seek and the lovingly steadfast mother who finds him every time.

You're All My Favorites book
#20
You're All My Favorites
Written by Sam McBratney and illustrated by Anita Jeram
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Three much-loved baby bears begin to wonder if their parents have a favorite. On board pages.

Hug Machine book
#21
Hug Machine
Written and illustrated by Scott Campbell
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

The edgy illustrations totally change the dynamic of this extra sweet topic (hugs!) to make it peppy and energetic, feeling very much like a rambunctious child, rather than the soothingly sweet cadence you might have come to expect from a book all about hugging. I always get hugs from my toddler after reading this one, which is definitely a plus in my book, as well as give out a few myself, making it the perfect opportunity to show a little extra affection. I particularly love the final pages where the little boys' hug energy is given a boost by his mother's hug.

The hug machine is available to hug anyone, any time, whether they are square or long, spikey or soft.

You're Here for a Reason book
#22
You're Here for a Reason
Written and illustrated by Nancy Tillman
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Now available in board book, You're Here for a Reason, from national-bestselling and beloved author Nancy Tillman, takes a universal truth and makes it accessible for readers young and old. Not only are we loved, but we also matter. In this tender and timeless read-along book, Tillman reminds us of this message in beautiful illustrations as children and animals interact with acts of kindness. You're here for a reason. If you think you're not I would just say that perhaps you forgot . . . a piece of the world that is precious and dear would surely be missing if you weren't here. If not for your smile and your laugh and your heart this place we call home would be minus a part. Thank goodness you're here! Thank goodness times two! I just can't imagine a world without you. Not only are we loved, but we also matter. Once again, NancyTillman takes a universal truth and makes it accessible forreaders young and old, as children and animals interact withacts of kindness.

I Love You the Purplest book
#23
I Love You the Purplest
Written by Barbara M. Joosse and illustrated by Mary Whyte
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

From the bestselling author of Mama, Do You Love Me?— and finally available in a board book format—this classic read-aloud provides a poetic and comforting answer to a universal question: Who do you love more? In this warm celebration of unconditional love, a wise mother reassures her children that each of them has a very special place in her heart, making this a perfect gift for the whole family.

On the Night You Were Born book
#24
On the Night You Were Born
Written and illustrated by Nancy Tillman
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from Readerly Mom

Sweet and calming, this book is perfect for reading together while snuggling before bed. When we've finished, my toddler likes to hear the story of the day she was born (usually multiple times). While its narrative style isn't my favorite, it's great for creating an opportunity to express my love for my rambunctious three-year-old.

On the night you were born, you brought wonder and magic to the world. The moon stayed up till morning. Polar bears danced. Here is a book that celebrates the one and only ever you! Now available in its entirety in board book format, Nancy Tillman’s masterpiece is perfect for acknowledging the special people in our lives that they are loved.

Hey, Boy book
#25
Hey, Boy
Written by Benjamin Strouse and illustrated by Jennifer Phelan
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In the classic style of The Giving Tree comes a touching debut picture book about the unfaltering love between a boy and his pet. One day a boy finds a dog. He takes him home, already dreaming of the adventures they will have and the games they will play. But when the boy gets hurt, he and his new best friend are separated. Will the boy be able to grow up quickly enough to get his furry companion back, or will life keep getting in the way? With dreamily spare text and sweeping yet simple illustrations, Hey, Boy is a reminder that true friends always find their way home to each other.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.